Antyesencjalizm i relacjonizm w programie badawczym Bruno Latoura

Ewa Bińczyk


Ewa Bińczyk

Anti-essentialism and Relationism in Bruno Latour's Research Project

The article presents a research project by Bruno Latour, one of the actor-network theory (ANT) representatives. The project, which is often associated with the social studies of science, draws from the broader field of the sociology of knowledge. The agnostic dictionary of the actor-network theory is constructed in order to, whenever possible, avoid pre-descriptive reductions and a priori ontological hierarchies. Reformulating the rule of symme­try advocated by the sociology of knowledge, Latour consistently tries to design a language which would descri­be reality after having discarded such traditional oppositions as those between knowledge and society, nature and culture and subject and object. Trying to preserve a certain symmetry we should, according to Latour, explain both society and nature in terms of a third entity, as both notions are being co-produced in a process which is still to be grasped. That is why one should analyse the practice of establishing relations and creating hybrid networks. The main aim of the article is to present those elements of Latour's position which point to its relationism and anti-essentialism. Therefore, the article pays particular attention to such notions as actant, dichotomy of humans and non-humans and the idea of network.

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